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c.1300, from Anglo-French boucher, from Old French bochier "butcher, executioner" (12c., Modern French boucher), probably literally "slaughterer of goats," from bouc "male goat," from Frankish *bukk or some other Germanic source (see buck (n.1)) or Celtic *bukkos "he-goat." Figurative sense of "brutal murderer" is attested from 1520s. Butcher-knife attested from 18c. Related: Butcherly.
1560s, from butcher (n.). Related: Butchered; butchering. Re-nouned 1640s as butcherer.
To do crudely and clumsily what should be done with finesse: I butcher their language/ I try to paint but butcher the canvas (1640s+)